Kellen Jones taking 'jack of all trades' approach to staying on the field next fall

Versatile transfer is working to master all three positions, plus 'down' linebacker role for Tigers

Clemson's Kellen Jones and Clemson's Tony Steward during the first day of spring practice in Clemson.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson's Kellen Jones and Clemson's Tony Steward during the first day of spring practice in Clemson.

No excuses.

That's the message that Kellen Jones tried to send to his coaches during spring practice: if they need a linebacker, he's their man.

Jones, a transfer from Oklahoma who played his freshman season there under Brent Venables, says he'll carry a four-position arsenal into his first season as a Tiger.

"I'm learning 'Sam,' I feel like i've mastered the 'Mike' and the 'Will,' and I've played the 'down,'" said Jones, whose Orange-White spring game included an interception and 44-yard return. "I want there to be no excuses not to put me on the field. I want to make all things possible for me on the field."

While he's not yet where he wants to be, Jones said he made progress during the spring.

"I didn't know 'Will' at all, and that was a big change for me," he said. "Knowing all the positions can only help me in my assignments, knowing where everybody else is supposed to be on the field, and knowing where my help is."

Switching between positions was, he said, "a little confusing at first."

"I'd be thinking drop and take the curl when I actually had the flats," Jones said. "Then I'd think 'wait, no - that's the Will.' I was starting to figure it all our near the end.

"I think the Mike is still my favorite now, just because I've had two years under it. With a little more time, I think I'll get the same comfort level with the Will."

Jones said his summer goal is to improvement himself in all areas.

""I want to improve everything - my game, my knowledge, my conditioning," he said. "I need to continue to work to improve my pass coverage. I know I made a couple errors today, that I'll see on film. Those are the things I'll be working on."

He believes that depth at linebacker will be among the Tigers' strengths next fall.

"We've got big depth there," Jones said. "Tony Steward has come back off his knee injury and has been doing pretty well, and (Spencer) Shuey's our leading tackler coming back," Jones said. "Stephone (Anthony) is a very athletic guy, and a big guy at 6-3, 240, and B.J. (Goodson) is a big hitter. And then with myself in the conversation, there's going to be a lot of competition."

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